Some how I missed this before but so glad I read it now, thank you for sharing Sean as it is a wonderful testimony to the power of God's love. I hope you and your family are doing well.Geeze....its been a while. Last workout I entered was Christmas eve. Had a pretty mixed couple of weeks. As many know we have experienced a tragedy here in my hometown of Webster and it hit pretty close as one of the guys who died in the ambush was a former student of mine. And the other officer was a mentor to many of my close students who are part of the Webster Fire Fighter explorer program. So ive done a lot of reflecting this week and experienced the whole range of emotion. Lately, I have been doing a lot of work on my emotional and spiritual health so this range of emotion took on new meaning to me. So while I experienced a serious sadness and loss with the rest of my community, God blessed me with one of the most spiritually fruitful weeks of my life. If there was ever a question of Gods grace and love it was put to bed this week. On Monday I woke up out of a sound sleep and lay wide awake like God woke me himself. It sounds absolutely insane, I know. But I could not fall asleep and felt prompted to write.....at 2 AM. So, rather than push back the emotion (as I would have in the past) I got up and wrote. After I was done, I felt very much at peace and was able to return to sleep quickly. But when I reread it, I did not really feel like what I had written was any great revelation or incredibly earth shattering. I didnt think much of it beyond that. I didnt even know what to do with it. But my wife suggested I post it on the facebook memorial pages for the fire fighters. So i did and was just floored by the response. Within 5 minutes there were hundreds of "likes" and several very meaningful, heart felt comments on my writing. And since then, thousands of people from my community have responded and I have gotten messages and emails indicating that the words were exactly what they needed at that moment. Some indicated that they were questioning God and my words gave them peace. Wow....just wow. I only wish I could claim they were my words, but for the first time in my life I truly felt God used me to communicate to others. Its honoring and humbling at the same time.
This is what I wrote that night:
Ive recently started to dig pretty deep in personal reflection and the recent tragedies have helped that process along. Ive been waking up in the morning to these words running through my head......"His love never fails, it never gives up". Tonight, I woke up in the middle of the night to those words again....."His love never fails, it never gives up" and the images ive seen this past week were running through my head. It was so powerful I couldnt sleep. So after some prayer, here i sit typing it out....at 2:30 AM.
In the midst of chaos, God is there. He has worked in our community in ways ill never understand but from what I can see His love moves from one to another. It crosses the boundaries of religion. It rises up in the face of evil and persists relentlessly.....its overwhelming. The brotherhood of firemen and police that I saw this week was a testimony that Gods love is alive and well. And at times it was overwhelming. As I think it through, a song I know plays in my head....."its stronger than the power of the grave. And constant in the trial and the change. This one thing remains........His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me." The Apostle Paul put it pretty well, I think. "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.......These things remain....faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
Love has risen above the death and the ashes. I've seen it in the firemen who drove hundreds of miles to pay their respects; and in a community that welcomed them by paying for their stay at local hotels. Ive seen it in businesses that donated so much food that it couldn't all be eaten (kinda reminds me of some loaves and fish i heard about). Ive seen it in thousands of dollars donated to families in need. Ive seen it in a mile long line of people waiting hours to do their part in comforting the broken families. Ive seen it in a crew of policemen embracing a brother too broken to continue his speech. "And on and on and on and on it goes.....it overwhelms and satisfies my soul. This one thing remains...."
I used to think God only worked primarily through Christians, at church, or through the church. I realize my box was small. I used to think our world is going to hell and that it just keeps getting worse. But now im not so sure.
One thing I want to be clear about......this is a testimony to my God, not me. I feel compelled to say that I only blog about this aspect of my life because i want others to know what GOD has done through me. Im nothing special...in fact, im quite the opposite. Far from "good enough" for God to use.